Spring is almost here. To me, that sounds like a good excuse for chocolate cake!
My family call this recipe “THE” chocolate cake recipe. My mum’s had it for years and I think it’s from an old copy of Good Housekeeping magazine. The oil in the recipe means the chocolate cake is dense, moist and a bit like fudge cake. It’s gorgeous! Although it’s still a little early for Easter eggs, spring is definitely in the air and this inspired the grass buttercream topping. Oh, and I just love Cadbury’s mini eggs, so any excuse to use them, I take it! 🙂
- 10 oz / 280 g self-raising flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 6 oz / 170 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 0.5 pints / 280 ml / 3.4 fl oz vegetable oil (sunflower oil or any of your choice).
0.25 pints / 140 ml of milk (I used full fat)
3 tbsp golden syrup
0.5 tsp vanilla essence
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / Gas Mark 4 / 350 degrees F. Grease and line two circular 8-inch / 20-cm tins with baking paper.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the sugar.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the milk and the bicarb of soda. Add the syrup and oil to the rest of the ingredients and beat until mixed well.
Pour the mixture into your tins. Like this:
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a knife comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins. Like this:
I made a batch of buttercream by mixing 180 g / 6.5 oz butter with 360 g / 13 oz icing sugar (I should say, at this point, that I think I made too much. I had some of the green icing left over…). Once I had a smooth buttercream, I split the batch in half. To one half I added 45 g / 1.5 oz of melted dark chocolate. I used this chocolate buttercream as the filling in the cake sandwich. I used a spatula to dollop it onto the bottom layer of cake and used a knife to spread it out into an even layer. Then I put the other cake on top. Like this:
To the other half of the buttercream batch I added green food colouring until I was happy with the colour. To get a grass effect, there is an actual piping tip for grass/ hair effect (amazing, I know), but I don’t own one. Instead, I used a small, star-shaped tip to get the grass effect on top of the chocolate sandwich cake. I don’t mind telling you this took a good five minutes and a steady hand! Here’s a (bad) photo of the grass icing work in progress:
To finish off I used Cadbury’s mini eggs to top the cake and some wafer daisies (no, I didn’t make them. I cheated and bought them. Enough is enough!).
It slices beautifully too!
A final photo!
If you’re looking for other chocolate cake recipes, you could try:
My chocolate fudge cake with chocolate buttercream rosettes.
Heavenly chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul